Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Baby School Dropout

The modus operandi for my pregnancy has been peace, and I've run (not walked) away from things that have caused stress. And it's worked for me. Sure, now that I'm approaching beach ball proportions, I'm realizing I should own a bottle or diaper or something. But I've just had this overwhelming feeling that everything will be ok. So I have chosen not to worry, well about basically anything.

That all changed when I went to childbirth class.

I don't know who these classes are for, but I've given it some thought:

  • People who are worried sick, so the "worst case scenarios" they present are actually comforting
  • People who are under the impression that they are still in control, even when giving birth
  • People who are mentally challenged (I mean, I'm pretty sure I KNOW how to breathe already)

So to cut to the chase, I made it through to the potty break for the first class. Then I bolted and didn't look back. Poor Kirk (the saint) stayed till the bitter end, and I picked him up after. Besides the not-funny intro joke (you'd better take naps now, since it will be the last you take for 20 years, ha ha), I learned everything I needed to know in the first 5 minutes.

"When your contractions are 5-7 minutes apart for over an hour, call your doctor and go to the hospital." Let's see, maybe I should chill out at home beyond that? Nah, I think I'll head on over to check things out. Got it.

At the second class, I got some much-needed solitaire playing time in. And instead of the third class, we're going to Chili's with the neighbors. My neighbor Matt assures me that he'll tell the kid we were far too cool to waste brain cells on those classes.

So I'm back into peace mode. I'm getting ready for the whole family to descend next week (since I can no longer travel). I have takeout menus, and I'm not afraid to use them! Peace be to everyone this holiday season!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Eight months and counting!

Showered with Surprises

I've always loved going over to our friends the Fosters in Portland. Of course, their house is fabulous. But it's Irene's natural hospitality that makes you feel so special and yet comfortable at the same time.

On my trip to Portland, my book club of 9 years planned to get together while I was there.

Only it wasn't a book club – it was a surprise shower for me and the muffin. I feel too old for a shower, but there is no denying that having your baby celebrated by those you love is simply priceless. So I embraced it. Here are my girls who were there (minus Sarah, who was taking the picture).

We had an amazing dinner, played fun games (thanks, Margit - although I stunk at "guess the price" and the word scramble!), and sat around telling stories of pregnancy, childbirth and beyond (well, they told stories; I sat listening wide eyed).

Sunday, November 30, 2008

“Where did my abs go?” OR “When are you due?”

Three weeks ago (when I was six months and three weeks pregnant), no one would have dared ask if I was pregnant. They would instead allude to my pregnancy by asking, "Do you have children?" I always get a kick out of this. Yes, I will soon have the one you are staring at right now!

But a week or two ago, everything changed. Suddenly, everyone wants to know when I'm due. I think they really just want to confirm that they are onto my little secret of being pregnant. After all, how can they respond to "February 8" with anything but "ohhhh."

Of course they can continue the questions if they wish – "do you know what you're having?" I've found there's a secret Alliance of People Who Don't Find Out. They minute you tell them you're waiting to find out when it's born, they instantly feel a bond if either A) they've been pregnant and didn't find out, or B) they've ever known anyone in their lives that didn't find out. I personally love this little bond. I can only imagine that if I were to say "boy" or "girl," I'd get another "ohhhh."

I spent Thanksgiving with Kirk and my parents in Ruidoso, and I think I grew exponentially there. I'm not sure if it was the little muffin growing or the non-stop eating, but I definitely look like a different pregnant person now. I even had a first – someone I didn't know reaching out and rubbing my belly. I've always heard about this phenomenon, and I couldn't imagine that it would bother me. And it didn't, but it's just so… strange! I wonder what people would do if I reached right back out and patted them on the butt.

I just went to the grocery store in what I would consider an incognito outfit – sweatpants and my trusty (and generously sized) Life is Good sweatshirt. The perfect foil to a big belly. And still, the checker asked, "When are you due?" I was shocked that she could tell, but upon hearing the blessed day, she responded with the ever-popular "ohhhh." But this time, she followed up with a little anecdote about how her cousin had gotten huge all of a sudden at seven months too. Thank you, Miss Checker! In case you're wondering, I responded to her little story with "ohhhh."

The last little tidbit today is that getting up or especially reaching down to get things off the floor is suddenly a rigmarole. It's like my abs have deserted me. Who knew abs were so important? Getting things from the floor is often accompanied by an attractive little grunt. But more often than I care to admit, I just leave said item on the floor, deciding it's not really worth it to get it.

I remember when I first was pregnant, and I couldn't relate to all those women with beach balls under their shirts. No matter how far along I am, it's just impossible for me to believe I'm becoming one of them! Oh well, I've re-upped my commitment to stay peaceful with the knowledge I'm not in control, and I'll be practicing this lots over the next two and a half months, I'm sure.

The love of a (grand)child

My mom's reaction to my being pregnant has been slightly unexpected and extremely wonderful. She's had three grandkids, so I wasn't sure another one would be all that exciting for her. But I have felt blessed and overwhelmed at how thrilled and connected she's been to the whole experience.

From the start, she's wanted frequent updates, and has been anxious to hear about every doctor appointment, kick, even the aches and pains of pregnancy.

I must admit she's vying for a little girl, and it has been killing her to not know the gender yet. She's been chomping at the bit to buy a few things for the little muffin. I haven't been very congenial, not really wanting to give in to all the "must haves" of a new baby. But there's one thing I wanted, and it's a fabulous glider chair. So she just bought us this one. We're so excited! In the picture, you can really see the gliding action at the bottom, but in real life, it looks like a sleek simple chair. Align Left

But the glider just wasn't enough for mom. She also broke down and bought some adorable paper doll material to make a little blanket, with chocolate brown and white polka dot fabric for trim and super soft pink fabric for the lining. It cracked me up! But it's so cute that of course I didn't protest.

While I was at her house for Thanksgiving, she spent a lot of time rubbing and talking to my belly. "Hey little muffin, this is Dee Dee!" And little muffin obliged, kicking a couple of times that mom got to feel. It was incredibly special. There's nothing like your husband and mom yelling at your belly and then getting a reaction to get you a little misty.

Speaking of misty, I have found my emotions are running a little high this week. Today in yoga, we were supposed to put one hand on our heart and one on our belly and send loving thoughts to our baby. Am I the only one in class that got totally choked up? Everyone keeps telling me this will change my life, but the truth is, it already has. From the start, I've loved this little baby so much, and I can only imagine the feeling once it actually arrives! Although I have literally bought not one thing for it (nor outfitted a nursery), I can't wait!

PS My mom and dad were talking, and she told him she just can't wait for the baby. And my dad agreed, saying he couldn't either. Having people love the baby before it's born as much as you do is the very definition of blessed.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Seven month ultrasound - Crazy!!

This was an unscheduled ultrasound, but there was a professor in my doctor's office that needed a guinea pig. I mean, HELLO, bonus ultrasound! Kirk had wanted a 3D one, but I think they are creepy. Well will you look at this little muffin??? It's the least creepy one I've ever seen!! People in the ultrasound room think the baby's nose and mouth look like mine, and I said that's ok as long as it has Kirk's demeaner!!

A couple points: 1) The left side of the face is NOT deformed - those are its fingers up to the face, like with the elbow out; 2) that is NOT hair - supposedly it's just a shadow, so there is hope for getting the Wescott hair gene yet! :); 3) I'm not sure what to say about its little nose, or shall I say PRONOUNCED nose?! That is Definitely a Wescott thing, so we shall see.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Amazing day with our little mover and shaker!

I've been feeling the little muffin move for a couple of weeks now. What an amazing experience!

But I've been sad that Kirk hasn't been able to share in it. The few times I've felt him/her kick, it's been so sporadic that by the time Kirk gets his hand on my belly, it's gone.

This morning was a big show! Feeling movement, I quietly reached over and put Kirk's hand on my stomach, not even telling him to shut his eyes and concentrate (as usual). And within moments, he felt it!

Kirk's reaction to things like this has to be one of my favorite parts of being pregnant. It's all in his eyeballs. They get so big when he's excited, and he was very, very excited this morning.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Here comes mama bear!

I had the most interesting experience today. I've been having back pain, so I went to see a chiropractor. I asked her all sorts of questions about her experience with pregnant women. But when she went to "adjust" me, she had me kind of hunched over, and I felt like she was going to sort of shove my abdomen into the table.

That did it. I started crying. I said I didn't want her to do anything anywhere near the baby and that I would live with the pain, but please don't do anything that might hurt my baby. A few weeks ago, I was on a plane that had hydraulics trouble, and that had been the first time I felt like my reaction to something was totally different, knowing I had a baby inside me.

Now there on that table, I couldn't stand thinking anything might harm my baby. I was ready to put up with whatever it took to ensure this.

Maybe I have more maternal instincts than I knew.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

A room full of pregnant ladies

I went to my first prenatal yoga class last night. I am telling you, nothing gives me a case of the giggles like being in a room full of pregnant ladies. I swear some of them looked like they had bowling balls under their shirts, and in no way does it seem possible I could look like that EVER!

But it was good, and I met someone I asked to join a play group. Now THAT'S planning ahead! But my friend Kara inspired me to do this, and so I'm building my list.

Everything else is going well. We've been cleaning up our house in order to put it on the market, and we're so happy with it we just might stay and put baby in little room off the the laundry room. That will surely be an efficient way to do all that laundry I've been hearing about!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Dying for a kick

One thing I've always wondered about was what it would feel like to have a baby kicking inside me. Knowing I probably wouldn't have kids, I felt I would really miss this experience.

And wouldn't you know it. Little Muffin hasn't been much of a kicker. It was several weeks after you're "supposed" to feel them. One night, I was having my usual one-person, 4 am party. My hands were on my belly, kind of meditating and feeling for any sign of life. Finally, I said the first thing I'd said out loud to the baby.

I said, "what are you doing, baby, and why won't you make yourself known to me?". About 10 seconds later, I felt it. The baby moved. It was amazing. In my groggy state, I almost thought it was a dream. But I'm so happy it wasn't.

I have learned the secret to feeling your baby kick is to be still and quiet. Also I'm so grateful to my business partner Aaron, who explained it almost feels like a spasm. This helped me make sure I was feeling for the right thing.

Feeling something move from the inside has definitely been a highlight of pregnancy. I can't wait till it's big enough to feel from the outside so Kirk can feel it too!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy 5 month pre-birthday, Little Muffin!

Things are really flying now! I feel great, still very peaceful and calm, which is such a blessing. We even got to have our anatomy ultrasound Thursday. It was so exciting – I got teary, as usual, when I saw the muffin moving around, heart beating, etc. Wouldn't you get teary too if you saw this on the monitor?

And if it’s possible to compound joy at such an event, we did, because Melinda went with us. She was shaking, she was so excited, and it made the whole thing more fun and exciting. We didn’t look at the gender (much to Melinda’s dismay, dare I say harassmentJ), but the doctor said the baby looks wonderful.

I have been in Colorado camping with my folks, so I’ll put up my 5 month picture here ASAP, as well as I’m hoping pictures of the muffin.

Stay tuned!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

JibJab announcement

JibJab quit putting our "We're Pregnant!" message at the end of our video announcement to people, so we had to cancel the service. But not before we took a little video of it. I've watched it hundreds of times and can't get enough. Priceless. Enjoy!

Monday, September 8, 2008

The big announcement to Portland gals

This week, I got to tell my Portland book club gals about being pregnant, and it was SO fun!

Jenn and Kara knew, so they wanted a piece of the action of telling everyone. So Jenn brought her camera, and we all agreed how we would get it all on film. So we got everyone together, and said:
KENDRA'S PREGNANT! (all in unison) before the CLICK!

Here's the stream of how it happened. First, here are Kara and Jenn (on the ends) making the announcement with me (behind the camera):

People starting to react...

It's starting to set in:

Susan (who also announced she's pregnant that night!) and Margit:

Margit and I:

Sandy and I:

Iva-Marie arrived late, so she got her own special trivia contest to try and guess who's pregant!

The whole gang...

I also told Irene this week. We met for breakfast, and I wore my "Mom To Be" necklace. She noticed it right away. Tears, hugs, the sheer bliss that only comes from the announcement of a baby. It was wonderful!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The cutest thing in the world

Kirk was so excited to give me this little trip treat when he got home from California. We had briefly discussed decorating the baby room (assuming we actually have one) in sock monkeys, and he brought one home for the little muffin. Although this probably won't be the room theme, I was so touched, I almost couldn't stand it!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

It's been a "big" week

I think I'm finally settling into pregnancy a bit. It's been a miracle not being morning sick, but who knew it would be followed by the intense tired feelings I've ever had? I kept asking Kirk to please quit drugging me! Luckily, he went to California to be with his mom for her breast cancer surgery, and I've felt a little more myself ever since. :)

My big stress over the past 10 days is that my only maternity jeans will NOT stay up! I would say this week has been my biggest growth week, and let's just say my regular jeans are no longer an option. My new jeans were cheap, but still! I was yanking on them all day. So last night, I made a trip to the mall and got some different jeans, jean capris, black yoga pants, and black dressier pants. I feel so much more prepared for life now!

I have a weekend to myself, and I'm planning to relax and get some things done!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The greatest gift – A healthy baby

Today we got the news we dreamed of – our little muffin tested very low risk for downs. We couldn't be happier. Because of my AMA (Advanced Maternal Age), my risk was 1 in 28 going in, but then a combo of blood test, ultrasound and family history reduced our risk to 1 in 2,700. I can live with that risk!

It will be interesting to see if this changes my take on wanting to know the gender (so far, we don't), plan the nursery (so far, not a big deal), etc. I'm just excited to go through the journey and most importantly, I'm trying to remain calm and peaceful throughout. So far, so good! But I have to say the enemy to peace can sometimes be information. I am really enjoying taking one day at a time, but I find that with one false move, you know more than you ever dreamed about a topic that you are months from needing to know. Mental note: continue my mantra of "I'm not there yet" when the advice, information, etc. gets to be too much.

A milestone of a different kind happens on Thursday. I will have been married to Kirk for 15 years. I always joke that marrying him was the smartest thing I did in my 20's. Luckily I still feel the exact same way. We're having a great time with all this, and true to form, he's my rock. We tried to think of what to do for our anniversary, but truth be told, we really couldn't care less. We'll go out to eat, but as corny as it sounds, we feel like we've already got our gift.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Week 12 – A new milestone

We made it to the second trimester! Things sure get busy when you decide to let the cat out of the bag! It's been so fun telling people, and hearing people's reactions has been awesome. One favorite is my cousin Kevin, who after seeing our JibJab featuring us dancing with the Gerber baby, responded:

Trip to Mexico for Kendra's 40th.....$1200pp (where I found out I was pregnant)
Family reunion for 38ppl.....$6000+ (where I went 2 weeks later)
Kirk and Kendra having a Gerber baby!!!....PRICELESS!!!!

It was also great hearing Kirk's Mom Mom saying "oh my Lordy" 15 times and be so excited with us. She also gave some great, common-sense advice:

  • Love them – don't spoil them. Make sure they have respect.
  • Mean what you say and say what you mean.
  • And like Gomer Pyle says, every day will be a "Surprise, surprise, surprise!"

Now who could argue with that?

But the most fun reactions have been from Kirk. Having this baby has given me whole new reasons to love him. He's been so supportive and excited and funny. His newest thing has been reading about what the baby can hear in vitro. He heard that one man would poke the belly once, yell ONE! and the baby would actually kick the number of times he poked. Kirk is completely committed to learning this cocktail party trick. I've never been poked so much in my life!

We also got some genetic testing done, which meant another ultrasound. Kirk videoed this one, until he got busted. This one isn't as good as ones before, but watch the bottom of the screen for a little wave.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A great reaction

It was so much fun telling my New York friends the news! And you can see by Caroline's face that she loved being in on the action. We did the old "let's take a picture" trick, then 1... 2... I'm pregnant! CLICK!


Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Week 11 - Doctors, dramas and celebrations (oh my)

This week, we went to our 11 week doctor's appointment. We had decided that once we heard the heartbeat at this appointment, we'd let the cat out of the bag and officially celebrate. No pressure, right?

When we arrived, the med tech came in with a Doppler to hear the heartbeat, and after fishing around for awhile, she said she couldn’t hear it. So my favorite nurse Bree came in to try, and she couldn’t hear it.

So we had another unplanned sonogram. We had to wait 15 minutes – which seemed of course MUCH longer. But it was worth the wait. The baby kept waving at us (at which point, the doctor would exclaim, "Hi Mom!"). Then it started doing summersaults, flipping all around, and waving its arms around like it was beating a drum. (My dad called “him” little drummer boy.)

At first, the screen was facing away from me, and it was amazing watching Kirk’s reaction. I’ve never seen eyeballs that big. But finally, I was like hellooooo, and I got to see too. Here s/he is:

Tonight, I'm telling my extended family that I was too nervous to tell at the family reunion. I'm so excited! I am sending out a JibJab greeting that I'll post in a few minutes.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Funny Gender Predicter

I just found a gender predicter online; it's based on the Chinese Birth Chart. Anyway, here's what it told me:
It's not scientific, but you never know!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Week 10 – Counseling, clothes & predictions

We've reached double digits! I must admit I'm starting to feel almost cocky! We had a couple of milestones this week.

We had our genetic counseling appointment and found out our odds are 27/28 of having a baby without chromosomal abnormality. We do a test in a few days that will "move the dial" hopefully to show our odds are even better. Depending on the results, we'll decide whether we'll have an amniocentesis or another test called CVS. This is not my favorite topic, but I feel good that we have the facts.

I also had my first bout with too-tight pants. I've got to say, this was not a highlight. So I did my very first maternity shopping yesterday with my college roomie Melinda and at least made a start at remedying that situation. It freaked me out to even walk into a maternity store, but Melinda kept it fun and light (begging me to buy these huge overalls, etc.)!

Two people have very strong predictions for a girl. One is Melinda, who had been calling the baby Melinda but has now switched to Abby. The other is my bro-in-law Scott, who had a dream last night that it was a girl with dark hair. My parents-in-law don't have a prediction, but they have put in an "order" for a girl. Oh, and my dad put in a request for the name Reagan, which I know is to offset Tracy and Scott's son's "democratic" name Truman. It was too funny.

That's it for this week. Friday is our next doctor appointment, at which point, we tentatively plan to start telling people (if my belly hasn't given it away already). So excited to see the little muffin again on ultrasound!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Week 9 - Reasonable redefined

I hit 9 weeks! It was really fun to celebrate pool-side at Tracy and Scott's. Tracy confirmed that my belly is in fact getting bigger (sisters are good for that).

This week, I realized that when you're pregnant, you have a whole new definition of reasonable.

The most important "new reasonable" thing is that in your first trimester, feeling "great" means feeling sick. (It means your hormones are increasing, etc.)

Another thing is, you have these weird thoughts. This morning, I thought, I'm feeling good! I think I'll just get up and go to the bathroom. Then 30 seconds later, I thought, while I'm in here, I may as well just barf. (Thank goodness I didn't and haven't.)

Other "reasonable" thoughts from the week:

  • If I crawled to the pantry to get the Ritz, maybe I could get there without getting sick?
  • Maybe I'll just get up and make some macaroni and cheese (at 5 am).
  • I think I'll eat breakfast… for the third time.

The best part is that I'm totally able to laugh about it. Sense of humor is key. Till next week…

Monday, June 30, 2008

Week 8 - A little scare

It is week 8! And what a difference a week makes. Early last week, I couldn't imagine how I'd get through the day. But then mid-week, my morning sickness improved improved to where I almost feel normal sometimes. I was mostly grateful, but this morning, some other things weren't quite right, so I called my fabulous nurse Bree, and she said come in.

I just had an unscheduled ultrasound. Luckily everything is fine. Heartbeat is 169 (118 last time), and the length is what it would be at 8 weeks 5 days (I’m only 8 weeks, 2 days). So all is good. Here's the picture of the muffin (as if you can't tell, the head is on the right, body to the left, and arrow pointing to the heart in the middle; s/he is just starting to get arms and legs):

I didn’t tell poeple I was going, because I knew I wasn’t prepared for a bad outcome, and I knew I’d need time to process, etc. But it was great news, and s/he even squirmed a little for me. So cute!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Week 7 - The start of the belly

Every Saturday marks another week. This week is week 7, and my belly looks like it did when I was 20 lbs heavier! I’m only 7 weeks! They confirmed I’m not having twins. Could it be triplets? Good grief!

You know how they say you need 300 extra calories per day? I think I get all mine in the middle of the night. Since Mexico, I have been up for two hours every single night. I've watched LOTS of bad TV and Sex in the City. Last night, I lay in bed thinking it would be perfectly reasonable to get up and make mac and cheese. But showing restraint, I waited till 7 am.

I started getting morning sick on Sunday. I’m learning survival techniques. Slow movements in the morning, gingersnaps in bed, lots of food early in the day, preggie pops, etc.
I have a prescription for anti-nausea drug, but I’m going to hold off as long as I can.

The heartbeat!

On June 18th, I was in bad shape. I had been so sick with a virus I no doubt caught in Mexico. I still didn’t have my lab results back saying what was wrong with me. Melinda came over. She sat with me while I cried (literally into a beach towel - it was what you might call a low moment).

Melinda gave me something called the miraculous medal, something from a Catholic church in France where Mary appeared. Less than 10 minutes later, my nurse called and said they wanted to work me in today. Melinda was in the background saying, I TOLD YOU! It was awesome.

I called Kirk and said please come home immediately. He cancelled his appointments before realizing he’d taken the shuttle and didn’t have a car. His boss Kim drove him all the way to Austin so he could make the appointment. I called mom and asked her to call Tracy and Craig and please all be praying for the little muffin at 2:30. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt such desperation.

The significance of this appointment was undeniable. It was literally “do or die” for the little guy.

And thankfully, we saw a heartbeat. Here it is on the ultrasound. The arrow points to the heart. It looked like a tiny area of "static," like on an old TV. But still more exciting than I can put into words.

It was a little slow, 118, where they like 120-160, but it was there. I made a conscious decision not to worry about the low heart rate. I didn’t think I had tears left, but as it turns out, I did. It was “the most dramatic ultrasound ever.”

The highlight is when Dr. A said she’d see me in a month. Clearly it was all up to the muffin now.

The best reaction ever

Another super fun group to tell was the Kathy Katz’s and the Lisa Katz’s. We were having a dinner party, our last birthday celebration. Here are the girls, although we let the husbands come too:

Melinda knew the secret, of course, and I thought she’d love a piece of the action telling. She was so nervous before we told that she was texting me while she was right next to me!!!

Melinda got Kirk a teddy bear that said “#1 Dad.” Kirk opened it and held it out for everyone to see. Everybody just sat there shocked, not getting it AT ALL for what seemed like a half an hour.

FINALLY, I am so grateful that Melinda had her camera on as Lisa gave what will go down as my favorite reaction of ALL time:

Telling the Wescotts

The lack of heartbeat effectively stalled my plans of a big announcement at our family reunion – I just couldn’t do it. However, I did tell my immediate family.

I got everybody together in our room the first night to open gifts. Craig had gotten us all these hysterical hillbilly teeth, so we took a family photo. I pulled the same trick as with Kirk, where I backed up the camera and actually showed Tracy the pregnacy test, instead of the photo we had just taken.

It kind of backfired, because Tracy was already crying when she saw it, so I finally just had to spill the beans. But it was super fun - hugs and tears all around. Here's the picture seconds before I told the family:
Posted by Picasa

The first to know

The first people I told were Jenn and Melinda.
I told Jenn on the phone, and it was just great. We had had a chat on the beach about maybe trying for kids, and she had been shocked, since we hadn’t talked about it in ages. Little did I know that I was pregnant at that moment!

Melinda came over to bring me some chicken broth (I was sick with the Mexico thing), and I told her in person by showing her a picture of the pregnancy test. I felt terrible physically, but it was just the most fun to tell Melinda. She has called me almost daily since, and I literally don’t know what I would have done without her (and Kirk, of course; he's been unbelievable).

I also told people at work. In case something went wrong, I knew I’d need their flexibility and support. I told the guys on the phone and Jessica and Arden at Firebowl. I was talking about my cousins all having 2.2 kids, and then I said Kirk and I would be upping the average. I’ll never forget Arden and then Jessica looking up with these big smiles. It was super fun.

We told Kirk’s parents at breakfast that weekend. I was so sick, and I think Kirk was nervous, because he waited until we were all finished! They were so excited and put in their order right away for a little girl. It was awesome!

Our first doctor’s appointment

The best thing about being high risk is that you get to see the doctor immediately. Since I have two cards stacked against me – my “advanced maternal age” and prior miscarriage – I was a shoe-in. I was booked for the date when I’d be 5.5 weeks pregnant. Aside from all the poking and prodding, I had an ultrasound, and we didn’t see a heartbeat. I’d have to come back.

In the meanwhile, I got blood work done. I was first told my progesterone was at 23, a “perfect” number. But my excitement was dashed later that day when they said my HCG numbers were abnormally low. I’d just have to wait for the ultrasound on the 23rd.

Telling Kirk

Kirk came back, and I suggested lunch. The second we sat down, I asked the waitress to take our picture. I quickly took the camera and flipped the display back to the photo I’d taken of the pregnancy test and handed it over to Kirk. It was a very quiet lunch. He was smiling but totally in shock. The picture to the left was taken the moment before Kirk found out he'd be a daddy.

Upon our return to Austin, we took what we lovingly call the “dumbass pregnancy test,” the one that says “pregnant/not pregnant,” and it was confirmed. I finally opened the books and card that Jenn had sent me so long ago. I was scared, realizing there were only two ways out of the “situation.” I’d already been through a miscarriage, and I knew I could survive that. And I had absolute faith that we would love being parents. So all in all, it was a very exciting day.

I want to try to remember the funny things, so I'll share Kirk's one and only insensitive comment throughout. I had eaten little on Monday, and I was famished. I was only beginning to learn the hunger that comes with pregnancy. As I stood at the refrigerator trying to explain how intensely hungry I was, Kirk looked at me and said, you know you don't always have to eat when you're hungry. Let's just say it didn't go over well. :)

One more gift

The day after everyone left and the day after I turned 40, I was so sad sitting on the beach. I listened to Josh’s song Ocean and cried behind my sunglasses. I would pick up my phone periodically to check the time, and something made me check the calendar. I checked my cycle and found that I was one day late.

I’m never late.

I went to Starbucks for a quick latte and then headed to the pharmacia “just for fun.” The test was behind the counter with a non-English speaking person, so I had to give that international sign for pregnant (making a “baby bump” with my hand.

I took the test, and it was undeniably positive. I literally couldn’t believe my eyes. I have told so many friends there is no such thing as a false positive, but I looked at it in every kind of light, at every angle, etc. I was tingly and in disbelief.

My 40th

My 40th birthday is something I’ll never forget. Early in the year, I did a little soul searching and figured out that I really wanted to mark the occasion of my 40th birthday by sitting on a beach in Mexico. We found cheap tickets and asked our friends Todd and Steven to go. After a little research, we found a great hotel in Playa called Hotel Tortuga, and we booked it.

Meanwhile, we went to Scott and David’s civil ceremony in Puerta Vallarta, and we had such a good time that we mentioned it to people there. Scott, David and Kevin booked on the spot. Karyn B. said she was coming too.

So I decided to email a few more people to tell them about the trip and see if they wanted to go. I also emailed a musician I love, Josh Komorowski, and asked if he would come. He said yes.
In the end, 19 people went, and it was just about the most memorable, magical experience of my life (rivaling my wedding). Here's a photo of the people who went.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The cutest nieces

I'm posting this photo, just because it makes me happy. Here they are, laughing their heads off while putting ice down each other's shirts.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Peace & Happiness

I'm turning forty this year. This means many of my friends are turning forty too. I'm noticing it's making all of us think about a few things... take stock if you will. I'll be posting some thoughts here. To start, here are some general thoughts I had today about peace and happiness. Thanks to my friend who inspired both these thoughts and this blog.

To achieve peace, figure out what it takes you happy, and run towards it. This will change often throughout your life. This is normal. Don't worry about this. It's life.

Take action on the things you want to and can change. Even if you're not where you want to be, you'll feel great knowing you're moving in the right direction. This takes courage and fortitude, but it's worth it.

And remember. There are some things you can't change. Put them out of your mind. Be at peace. Things you focus on increase in importance.

Embrace the discomfort of not being in control; this acceptance will strengthen your personal power. Focus on playing your cards, not the hand you're dealt. This last part is especially key.

My wish for you today is:
That you are granted the serenity to accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.